We are almost at the end of what we hope was an exciting month filled with interviews from super talented musicians. But before we wrap it up, it would be remiss of us if we did not tell you of an emerging artist whose lyrics, smooth vocals and style sense is simply refreshing!
Known as GT the guitarman, Gbemi Olaolu Oluwatokunboh Akigbogun was born in England on September 8th 1984. At an early age, GT’s father abandoned the family leaving them to fend for themselves. GT’s mother, bearing the huge responsibility for two, worked quite hard to support the family leaving the young GT, for the most part, on his own. Luckily, GT did something positive with all the time he had on his hands. He redirected the negative energy and chaos in his life to positive music, picking the guitar as the instrument of choice.
In 2003, GT began seeking a broader audience to display his talents and sensible lyrics. He performed with various groups at diverse venues, including churches. During one such performance, for a Valentine’s Day event, in 2005, a famous Nigerian comedian, Omobaba, approached him and ultimately helped open doors for him to secure other singing gigs performing in front of a larger audiences. That same 2005, he met former Storm Records Artist Dare Art Alade. Alade introduced GT to Obi Asika, an Executive with Storm. Shortly after, he was signed onto the Storm label. Meet GT!
LADYBRILLE.com:GT, I really like your style. I think it represents an R&B/ Neo-soul genre coming out of Nigeria that you don’t really see as much. Tell us about your music background and why the Guitar is your choice of musical instrument.
GT:I’ve always been a great fan of good music as I grew up listening to the likes of Fela, Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, Shina Peters and I have always thought it would be a dream come true if I could be like them. I started out singing with my sister who was a member of the choir. She would teach me songs they [sang] and we would sing them together and a lot of people actually thought we could make a good team. Later, I joined a couple of bands, but they were not as dedicated to music as I was so I [left]. Still years later, I developed an interest in the guitar after seeing a friend play. I tried saving to get a guitar but couldn’t. A friend who saw how desperate I was to get one gave me his guitar. I taught myself how to play with electric guitars, met Storm Records and the rest [as they say] is history.
LADYBRILLE.com: [Speaking of signing with Storm], share with us how it happened? GT: I was at home rehearsing when a friend of mine told me that he would love to introduce me to Dare Art Alade. I was so excited that I immediately left with my friend to meet Dare. I got there, did my stuff and he liked it and promised to introduce me to Storm Record’s Executive. He [followed through] with his promise and took me directly into the office of my CEO Obi Asika. I performed my songs and Obi said,“Welcome to Storm.”
LADYBRILLE.com: I understand you grew up without a father. Did that have an impact on your decision to be a musician?
GT: I remember when I was [quite] young, my father would tell me that I was cut out to be an Aeronautic Engineer. At the time, I liked the sound of it. I guess if he was around it would have been difficult being a musician. [While] living without a father figure had its own scars, it has taught me a lot, things like self-reliance. . .
LADYBRILLE.com: I love your recent releases “Dreamer” and “Truly.” Where did you shoot the “Truly” video it looks like a place we’d like to visit!
GT: It was shot at Alpha Beach and yes it’s the place to be with your [loved one].
LADYBRILLE.com: We can’t let you go without talking fashion. You have a very laid back style. Who are your favorite African fashion brands?
GT: Hmmm . . . I don’t go for the big names. I work with a guy called “Manymo” . . .
LADYBRILLE.com: We understand your album called “The Truth” is set to be released [soon]. What should we expect?
GT: A lot of people do too much talking but less action. I will just say keep your fingers crossed. I won’t disappoint you.
LADYBRILLE.com: Okay then! Thanks GT! Keep us updated on your progress.
GT: Definitely I will, thanks for having me.
You can purchase GT’s “Dreamer” or “Truly” on Itunes.